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WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE     Print Version
NEWS RELEASE
600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091


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March 04, 1997
Contact: Tim Waters (206)775-1311, ext. 119

Wildlife conservation agreement signed with Champion Pacific Timberlands

OLYMPIA -- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and Champion Pacific Timberlands, Inc. today signed a six-year agreement that calls for the company to protect and improve fish and wildlife resources at its Kapowsin Tree Farm in eastern Pierce County.

Under terms of the agreement, the company will conduct population monitoring studies and other research for a number of species, including deer, elk, black bears, cougars and goshawks.

The company also will implement habitat enhancement projects at the 125,000- acre tree farm, including forage seeding to provide food for elk on the animals' winter range.

In return, the state Fish and Wildlife Commission will allow Champion to raffle a specified number of bull elk and buck deer permits to hunters, and recommend hunting season dates and restrictions. Funds raised from the raffles would be used by the company to recoup a portion of the costs involved in the conservation work.

"This agreement not only provides benefits for our state's diverse fish and wildlife resources, but ensures the public will continue to have recreational access to this area," said Bern Shanks, director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Said Jack Ward, timber and forestry operations manager for Champion: "Agreements such as this one provide a great incentive for private landowners to enhance fish and wildlife habitat. Champion is pleased to be part of this wildlife conservation effort."

The agreement with Champion is one of three similar agreements that the Department of Fish and Wildlife has signed with private landowners as part of the agency's Private Lands Wildlife Management Area Program.

The program's chief goal is to promote a wide variety of fish and wildlife conservation practices on private lands and, at the same time, ensure public recreational access to those lands.

In 1992 Champion, as part of a pilot program, signed an agreement with the department to develop ways to manage fish and wildlife resources at the tree farm in a way consistent with the company's other objectives.

While management of the farm's deer and elk populations was the primary focus of the pilot agreement, other projects were developed and implemented. For example, Champion personnel, in conjunction with the department and the Puyallup Indian Tribe, have been instrumental in working to restore coho salmon to Lake Kapowsin tributaries.

Under the new agreement, Champion also will participate in black bear and cougar population management studies, and will work on goshawk, bat, neotropical bird and amphibian monitoring and research projects. In addition, the company will implement a riparian policy designed to provide wildlife corridors along waterways to connect different habitat areas.